Lebanese Hairdresser Who Beat Clooney’s Beau in Local Beauty Pageant Says ‘George Totally Settled’
By Rondha Hirzalla
Newark (NJ)—A New Jersey woman, who miraculously beat George Clooney’s fiancée in a local beauty pageant 10 years ago, says he really shouldn’t have settled for number two when he could have gotten number one.
Nashwa El-Sabri, a Lebanese-American hairdresser from Lyndhurst who works at the Joanie Loves Chachi Beauty Salon expressed her disappointment with the engagement between heralded actor and director George Clooney and 36 year-old international lawyer Amal Alamuddin. El-Sabri explained she was the better woman based on her first place finish in a 2004 Miss Palisades Pageant hosted during the All-You-Can-Eat Fish Fry at Hank’s Bar & Grill off Route 63 in Palisades Park. Alamuddin, who at the time was studying at New York University Law School finished as the runner-up.
“There she was acting all exotic with her fancy hair and nails thinking she was going to win the contest,” said El-Sabri, who mentioned Alamuddin reluctantly competed only after friends encouraged her. El-Sabri said she spent 5 hours getting spray tanned for the pageant and was confident that her time and preparation would put her in a position to win. “I had my beautiful evening gown and cat walk ready to go. When I saw her, I knew she was my real threat.”
El-Sabri, 35, who is in her seventh year at Bergen Community College and plans to complete her degree in Cosmetics, said she doesn’t know how Clooney could
have picked Alamuddin. “Honestly, what does she have that I don’t? I won a beauty pageant. I have a lot of friends. And I won a beauty pageant.” When El-Sabri was later informed that Alamuddin works for the prestigious London law firm Doughty Street Chambers and has been appointed to a number of United Nations commissions including adviser to Special Envoy Kofi Annan on Syria and as Counsel to the 2013 Drone Inquiry, she was quick to respond. “Ok, but did she ever win a beauty pageant?”
While neither Alamuddin nor her publicist could be reached for comments on the decade old pageant, Hank Lieggi, owner of Hank’s Bar & Grill confirmed Alamuddin did participate in the event. “She really stood out from the rest of the girls,” he said. “Most of them were wearing the standard trashy Guidette outfits. But Amal, she just went up there with a t-shirt and jeans, more as a joke to make her friends laugh. She almost won too.”
El-Sabri is not the only woman bothered by Clooney’s decision with Alamuddin. Reports that actress and Clooney-ex Stacy Keibler was also ‘irked’ by the engagement as Clooney did not want to marry Kiebler while they were dating. Their relationship ended in 2013. Rumors of Kiebler’s bitterness were never substantiated. However in the case of El-Sabri, her bluntness was rather apparent. “Listen she may be all that to the rest of the world, but in New Jersey, she’s nothing! Do you hear me?! Nothing!” Although the possibilities are slim, El-Sabri plans to rip Clooney to shreds if she ever sees him for apparently making a “boneheaded” choice. In the meantime, she looks forward to marrying her fiancée of 2 years in October, Citgo gas station manager Tarek Hamouda, who also won the 2012 title for Jersey Juicehead of the year.